There is no doubt that, as the saying goes, we are living in “interesting times.” For many people, these times are also challenging — so challenging, in fact, that some try to escape what’s facing them through addictions of different sorts: mind-altering substances, food, shopping, Internet browsing, and more. This compulsion to escape, rather than face, one’s challenges is a point upon which we as human beings pivot; and the choices we make determine the futures we create and the characters we develop. When faced with challenging circumstances in our lives, do we choose to escape — or to evolve? Do we decide to avoid — or to create?
There’s no doubt that finding nourishing ways to temporarily give ourselves a refreshing escape can sometimes be beneficial. But when those means of escape become extended, or involve substances or behaviors that can ultimately destroy our promise, not expand it, then we need to start crafting a new narrative for our lives. As Stephen Covey said, “Live out of your imagination, not your history.”
May we remember to use our challenges to evolve, not escape. May we use our leisure time consciously, to refresh and replenish. May we live out of our imaginations today, and every day — and most importantly, may we remember, always, to turn to God. May these words from Teach Us to Pray by Charles and Cora Fillmore be our words:
“I am now free from fear, anxiety, worry, dread, and suspense. I have faith in Thy Holy Spirit, and I trust Thee to protect me, to provide for me, and to bring all my affairs into divine order.”
And so it is…thank you, God!
—Rev. Maggie Oman Shannon